Friday, July 16, 2010

Frugal Fridays

I've been wanting to add a backsplash in our kitchen for quite some time now. The paint didn't cut it for me. We have wall outlets on either side of the stove plus a garbage disposal switch and these three unsightly boxes just stand out like a sore thumb against the blue.

I used large white architectural tiles to hide the outlets, two on one side and one on the other, but the one on the left broke after trying to reach the hidden outlet. So the longing for a back splash still persisted (:

A few years back a friend of my mother's was running for county commissioner and had mini wooden rulers printed with his info. Very cute, but one problem...the printer made a spelling error and needed to create an entire new batch. I was happy to save the rulers from the garbage and knew they could be used for something...one day. (Do you see where I'm headed?)

Now, fast forward to the kitchen backsplash dilemma. I love white subway tiles, but as you know this is our No Spend Month so this makeover has to cost a whopping amount of $0. Time to get creative. This was my inspiration...

Since the project has a budget of zero, this is where our lovely free rulers come into play. They have a subway feel...I have tile adhesive left over from tiling the fireplace...extra paint from other projects...voila! Free backsplash! The wooden "tiles" measure 1 inch x 6 inches, they're easy to cut, are the perfect trendy size and resemble the subway tile look I so love.

They can be glued onto the wall with whatever medium makes sense in your situation. I'm using tile adhesive, but wood glue or liquid nails could work just as well. Just make sure you're wall is clean and the bonding agent being used is one that will give good adhesion. We're lucky because our apartment manager doesn't mind decor tweaks and has given permission to make improvements, with her prior consent of course (:

If you're renting and making a permanent change isn't an option, apply the "tiles" to a masonite board and use screws to attach it to the wall. When it's time to move, simply remove the backsplash and fill in the holes. You'll be able to find masonite in the lumber section of any Lowe's or Home Depot and they can cut it to size if you don't have access to power tools.

Here's the layout...

Because the wood "tiles" are only an inch tall it looks more like a basket weave than a subway tile, but anything is better than bare walls and the price is right (: It will give an added texture that's missing and I can't wait to see how it turns out! In another kitchen I think these would look great stained...maybe in different tones and then put together in a random pattern. Using a stain and embracing the wood grain would give a rustic quality to your kitchen. So many options!!

Once the "tiles" are installed, they'll get a few coats of glossy white which will make cleaning much easier. If you're thinking of creating a backsplash using alternative items, check out your local hardware superstore. Lathing strips are very inexpensive ($1.25 - $2.00 in 8 ft lengths compared to $1 white 4 inch square tiles) and many come primed to save you an extra step.

If beadboard is your style, they now have beadboard wall paper! It's about $22 per roll, covers 56 sq ft and no power tools are needed! Just cut to size with scissors and you're good to go! Here's the Home Depot link if you'd like to give it a whirl. I love this idea, but haven't tried it myself. Roeshell gives a great tutorial over at her blog The DIY Showoff. The results are amazing!

This is a pretty simple project, but one that can make a big impact. Be sure to stop by on Makeover Monday to see the results!



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39 comments:

  1. Wow! What an amazingly creative idea. I love that. Your creativeness is truly inspiring!

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  2. Love it! I can't wait to see the results.

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  3. Are you creative or What? I can't wait to see the final results.

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  4. I am definitely anxious to see the results! I love that you are doing this during your no spend month. It's clever, creative, pretty, and FREE. WAY TO GO!

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  5. I can't wait to see the results. It's great that somebody gives you something and you see such potential in it.

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  6. You are so creative! I absolutely love this idea and it will be so unique!! Can't wait to see the end result. It's sure to end up in some DIY magazine!!

    heather

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  7. What a great idea Michele! I'm glad you kept those rulers. Have a great weekend!

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  8. What a great idea! See? There's hardly ever a reason to throw anything away. ;-) No kidding, it seems that when I toss anything, I need it the next week!

    Love the look. Thanks also for following Cranberry Morning! Great to have you along. :-)

    I've gotta go look at your storage space post now.

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  9. That is AMAZING! Makes me wish I had a box of rulers! I wonder if the free paint stirrers would work....

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  10. I can't wait to see the finished result! It sounds like a great idea. I like the pattern a lot. :)

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  11. Stephanie, paint stirrers would be great since they're about the same size as lathing, just shorter and you'd need to chop off the indented portion. It might take a while to collect them from leftover projects...even though they're free, grabbing a bunch from the store without buying paint probably wouldn't be the best idea. Put the word out to family and friends that you'd like their stirrers and you never know...it might not take that long to have what you need. Good thinking (:

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  12. Ok the blog name got me..but this idea rocks...I loooove it!! Wonderful idea!! Loving your blog!! Thank you for popping by mine!!
    Truly, Sarah

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  13. OK I'm waiting...I want to see the end results to this magnificent idea!! So creative!!! When you finish it you need to post it on Junk Market Style...it will be a hit there! I love this!

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  14. I wasn't familiar with Junk Market Style, so of course I had to pop by and investigate...so great! And there are many blogs I love to visit that post there as well (: Thanks for suggesting and leading me to yet another great place to peruse!

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  15. Hello,

    Great Idea, now that is cool factor budget decorating. I see you have doxies...so do we under blankets no matter how hot it is!

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  16. This is such a clever, original idea! I'm looking forward to see it finished!

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  17. Hi Michelle, just found your blog. I love your clever idea! Off to visit your Etsy shop. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. xx

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  18. What a great idea! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

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  19. Oh my gosh, how clever! I love this idea. Please post your photos of your finished project as soon as you can. I'm very interested in seeing how it turns out.

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  20. I love the idea and can't wait to see how it all turns out! You're also so lucky to have a landlord willing to let you make changes!

    Thank you so much for checking out my blog and signing up to be a follower! When I checked this morning and discovered a new follower it made my day!

    Thank you so much and I'll be back to check on you!

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  21. Thank you for following my blog... ok... I am so glad I found you ;) I really need to see the results of this makeover.... bad!

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  22. This is a great idea AND you are a lucky winner!

    Check out my blog to see your fabulous award for being one of my newest followers!

    http://likeChristmaseverysingleday.blogspot.com

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  23. I'm a pretty new follower, but I love all your ideas! Left you an award on my blog - littlesproutgrowing.blogspot.com

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  24. I gave your blog an award!
    http://averyfan.blogspot.com/2010/07/doubly-honored.html

    Have a great day!

    :)
    Rachel

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  25. So I saw your blog. I wanted to invite you to my blog, edk.dolce where I developed the idea for "Featured Followers by Elle © " where I promote all my followers, and give them a chance to attract more people to their blog & for my followers to learn more about them! Check out my blog @ www.edkdolce.blogspot.com
    *Elle

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  26. Okay, that is beyond clever! That is awesome! Cheap but will look like a million bucks! I am so impressed! Not likely I will find a box of rulers anywhere!!

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  27. BRILLIANT Michele! What an awesome lesson to me about thinking outside the box....I LOVE IT!

    Many Blessings,
    Melissa

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  28. Michele,
    This is my first time here and I am blown away!!!!! I am going to keep some of your photos so I can get ideas for my home!!!! What you did to your livingroom is amazsing!!!!! And I love the idea of the little wood slats becoming subway tiles!!!!! Youa re very creative, no doubt! Thanks for becoming a follower of 521 Lake Street, I am now one of yours too! :) Sandy

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  29. i love it when you can use stuff people are throwing out and make something out of it!

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  30. Oh my goodness.... A girlie after my own heart! :-) What a fabulous idea...dang...totalllllly clever. LOVE it. Can't wait to see it all finished.

    Warm blessings,
    Spencer

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  31. Very creative blog, and I have enjoyed reading it. Thank you for letting me visit.
    Susan
    http://amazingcouponanddiscountdeals.blogspot.com
    http://joininandgogreen.blogspot.com

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  32. Hi there! Thanks for being my first follower that I don't know personally! I have to say I was completely tickled when I saw you pop up as a follower. I thought to myself, wow someone that I'm not forcing to follow me actually thought my blog was interesting enough to follow! I am so new to blogging and am learning how to navigate my way through cyberspace. I have to also say, I am entirely intrigued by the ruler back splash idea. Only a real ingenious person can come up with something so out of the box! I am so excited to see the final outcome.

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  33. Hi, Michele, Thank you for becoming my latest follower, I can see that I'm going to have to come back and read your blog in depth. Blessings, Diane

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  34. You. Are. A. Genius!! I'm going back through all the kitchen make over info and I am astounded. What a fabulous idea!!
    lifeofperks.blogspot.com

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  35. You keep mentioning your no spend month.
    We do this too. I love it. Usually in September and February.
    It takes a bit of planning, but feels so freeing.

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